Book Review: The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell @Caroline_writes @emblabooks @netgalley #TheMidnightMan #booksof2021 #booksonthebookshelf #bookblogger #bookreviewer #bookreview #bookblog

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PUBLICATION DATE: October 13th, 2021

PUBLISHER: Embla Books 

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Thank you to the publisher, Embla Books, for the eARC of this novel via NetGalley.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

If you open your door to the Midnight Man, hide with a candle wherever you can. Try not to scream as he draws near, because one of you won’t be leaving here…

On Halloween night in Slayton, five girls go to Blackhall Manor to play the Midnight Game. They write their names on a piece of paper and prick their fingers to soak it in blood. At exactly midnight they knock on the door twenty-two times – they have invited the Midnight Man in.

It was supposed to be a game, but only four girls come home.

Detective Sarah Noble has just returned to the force, and no one knows more about Blackhall Manor than her. It’s a case that will take Sarah back to everything she’s been running from, and shake her to the core.

Will she be ready to meet the Midnight Man?

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MY REVIEW:

I love a good thriller type book that will have you hooked, creeped out with chills, and a touch of eerie stuff going on, and this book was the perfect recipe for that. I enjoyed this book from the beginning and it pulled me in from he first few chapters, as a group of teenage girls go to a known haunted Manor where The Midnight Man is supposed to be. That’s right, these girls knowingly went to a haunted manor with every intention of calling upon the Midnight Man. On Halloween night as well, of all nights. Talk about creepy, scary vibes, right!?

I enjoyed reading this novel and learning about the girls’ experiences on this eerie night in Blackhall Manor, as they call upon The Midnight Man. When one of the girls disappears and doesn’t show up at home, the other girls cannot figure out where she went or what happened to her. Did The Midnight Man get her? Where could she possibly have gone? Full of frights, chills, and edge-of-your-seat thrills, this novel will have you hooked as you flip through the pages.

A perfect read for this time of year, as we are quickly coming up on Halloween in a few weeks. A book I highly recommend that you read.

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MY RATING: 4/5 stars

Book Review: The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward @TorNightfire @Catrionaward #nightfirebooks #TheLastHouseonNeedlessStreet #booksof2021 #5starreads #bookreview #bookreviewer #bookblogger #bookblog #partner #booksonthebookshelf

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PUBLISHER: Tor Nightfire 

PUBLICATION DATE: September 28th, 2021

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Thank you to the publisher for the physical ARC of this book along with a fabulous bookish package to go along with the book full of bookish items. I loved it! Also, thank you for the eARC copy of this book via NetGalley.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

In a boarded-up house on a dead-end street at the edge of the wild Washington woods lives a family of three.

A teenage girl who isn’t allowed outside, not after last time.
A man who drinks alone in front of his TV, trying to ignore the gaps in his memory.
And a house cat who loves napping and reading the Bible.

An unspeakable secret binds them together, but when a new neighbor moves in next door, what is buried out among the birch trees may come back to haunt them all. 

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MY REVIEW:

Thrilling, suspenseful, creepy, eerie, intriguing, addictive, compelling, and full of surprises and what the heck is going on moments, this book will have you hooked! This book was such a wonderful blend of all of these elements, and more, and it worked wonderfully for an edge-of-your-seat, what the heck, and keep you guessing book. I devoured this book in a day and couldn’t get enough of this strange, mysterious and unique family. I mean…a cat that likes to read the bible? A child that isn’t allowed outside after last time? And a man in charge of the family that on the best of days has lapses in memory and gaps of time that he cannot recall. It begs the question: what the heck is going on?

I loved reading about all three unique characters in this family trio – the man, the cat and the young girl. Such an interesting and unique concept for a novel and I really enjoyed it. There were several twists that I did not suspect nor did I see them coming when all was revealed, and it kept me hooked to the last page for sure.

A definite must-read to add to your TBR! You will not be disappointed.

Well done Catriona. I am looking forward to your next novels.

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MY RATING: 5/5 stars

 

Blog Tour & Book Review: Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney @Flatironbooks @RaincoastBooks @alicewriterland @netgalley #RockPaperScissors #booksof2021 #5starreads #blogtour #bookreviewer #bookreview #bookblogger #bookblog #partner #netgalley #booksonthebookshelf

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PUBLISHER: Flatiron Books

PUBLICATION DATE: September 7th, 2021

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Hi everyone and welcome to my stop on the exciting blog tour for the much anticipated release of Rock Paper Scissors, the latest novel by the amazing Alice Feeney.

Thank you to Flatiron Books and Raincoast Books for the eARC of this novel via NetGalley.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

Think you know the person you married? Think again…

Things have been wrong with Mr. and Mrs. Wright for a long time. When Adam and Amelia win a weekend away to Scotland, it might be just what their marriage needs. Self-confessed workaholic and screenwriter Adam Wright has lived with face blindness his whole life. He can’t recognize friends or family, or even his own wife.

Every anniversary the couple exchange traditional gifts – paper, cotton, pottery, tin – and each year Adam’s wife writes him a letter that she never lets him read. Until now. They both know this weekend will make or break their marriage, but they didn’t randomly win this trip. One of them is lying, and someone doesn’t want them to live happily ever after.

Ten years of marriage. Ten years of secrets. And an anniversary they will never forget.

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MY REVIEW:

Wow! Addictive, thrilling, edge-of-your-seat, omg moments that will have you hooked as you flip through the pages of this thriller of a novel. I love a good domestic thriller and this one was perfect for just that! Mr. and Mrs. Wright (and the irony isn’t lost on me…hahaha) have been the seemingly perfect life. They seem to have it all together, seem just right (see what I did there?) for one another, and appear to be happily married for the past 10 years. But as we all know looks can definitely be deceiving, and not all is always as it appears to be. Behind closed doors things can definitely be different than the outside picture that is painted for everyone to see. Full of deceit, lies, betrayals, tricks and games, this book will have you hooked!

I loved reading about the marriage of this couple throughout the years, as they embark on their trip after winning a trip away. I loved the unique and interesting concept of this married couple using the game of rock paper scissors to help them decide what to do when faced with a big decision. I enjoyed guessing, or trying to guess, what was going on in their lives while away on vacation, and trying to see who was lying, what they were lying about, and wondering if they would be able to mend their marriage. 

I cannot say enough about this book. I am no stranger to Alice Feeney’s novels and this one is a must-read if you haven’t had your eyes on this one yet! Another wonderful 5 star read by Alice Feeney!

Well done Alice. I am looking forward to seeing what books you come out with next.

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MY RATING: 5/5 stars

Book Review: The Trapped Wife by Samantha Hayes @bookouture @netgalley @samhayes #TheTrappedWife #bookblog #bookblogger #bookreview #bookreviewer #netgalley #booksonthebookshelf #booksof2021

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PUBLICATION DATE: September 8th, 2021

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Thank you to the publisher for the eARC of this novel via NetGalley.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

My family gathers around the large oak table in our beautifully renovated home. I’ve put on a dress and lit candles, and there’s a wonderful aroma coming from the dinner you’ve so lovingly prepared. I feel your hand squeeze mine as you top up my glass and ask about my day as a doctor in our small town. It’s the perfect domestic scene, except for one tiny fact: I think my husband is dead, and you are just another patient of mine…

I had no choice but to let you in. If I laugh at your jokes and run my fingers through your hair, maybe I can delete the photos on your phone and find the truth about the night I can’t remember, just before my husband left on the trip he never returned from. Perhaps my son and I will have a chance at a normal life again.

But as I carefully piece together the shards of what really happened that fateful night, only one thing can possibly be true: everyone is lying, even me…

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MY REVIEW:

When everyone seems to be lying, including the main character of the novel, who are you left to believe? This book was a great thriller that had me hooked from the very beginning. I loved reading the chapters from altering POV’s – Jen in the present and a boy in the past by the name of Evan. Evan seemed to be an unfortunate, mischievous boy who was out looking for trouble.. or did trouble seem to find him? Flash forward to the present, and Jen is being manipulated and blackmailed by a man in her present by the name of Jeremy. He seems to enjoy playing with her and making her squirm as she must do everything he says he does after all have blackmail he can use against her that will ruin her life.

Many times I was mad at Jen for her choices. Why allow this man Jeremy rule and dictate her life? Just tell him to fly away and leave her alone, and just suffer the consequences of the blackmail whatever that may be. She can get through it. Of course I felt bad at times for Jen as well for what she was going through. She was intimidated, scared, bullied and felt she had nowhere or no one to turn to for help or advice.

There were many revelations in this novel – some I actually predicted and others I was close but never quite was close to figuring out the true story. Many shocking twists and turns that had me hooked, I read this book in just a day.. I loved this book and I highly recommend you add this thriller to your TBR list. You’ll be hooked as well!

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MY RATING: 5/5 stars

Book Review: The Wedding Dress by Dani Atkins @HoZ_Books @AtkinsDani #TheWeddingDress #booksof2021 #bookblogger #bookblog #bookreviewer #bookreview #booksonthebookshelf #netgalley @netgalley

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PUBLISHER: Head of Zeus

PUBLICATION DATE: August 5th, 2021

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Thank you to the publisher, Head of Zeus, for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

Three women. Three love stories. One dress. The new heartwarming and uplifting romance from award-winning romance writer Dani Atkins.

Suzanne is engaged to be married to the man of her dreams – except the lead up to her wedding is beginning to feel more like a nightmare. Can Suzanne uncover the truth about her fiancé ahead of her big day?

Bella’s life was on track until the day of the hen party when everything changed. Now she must find the strength to rebuild her future – and decide who she wants to spend it with.

Mandy’s grandmother has fallen in love but her family don’t approve. For her grandmother’s dreams to come true, Mandy has a secret wedding to plan, and a very special dress to find.

These are the three strangers whose stories are about to be woven together by one perfect wedding dress.

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MY REVIEW:

I am a huge fan of Dani Atkins books. She is a powerful writer who has a way with words. Some of her books have made me laugh out loud, cheer, cry, the whole emotional bundle. And this book was no different. It is such a beautifully written book that takes place over time and intertwines the lives of three different women. Three women and one wedding dress.

I enjoyed reading about the lives of the three different women as they embark on their lives and the days leading up to their wedding. They all have such different lives from one another, some full of joy, some full of loss or sadness, and it all centers around one key thing: their perfect wedding dress.

A uniquely written novel that I would recommend.

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MY RATING: 4/5 stars

Book Review: Not A Happy Family by Shari Lapena @PenguinRandomCA @doubledayca @sharilapena #NotAHappyFamily #booksof2021 #bookblog #bookblogger #bookreview #bookreviewer #booksonthebookshelf

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PUBLISHER: Penguin Random House Canada, Doubleday Canada

PUBLICATION DATE: July 27th, 2021

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada, Doubleday Canada, for the eARC of this book via NetGalley.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

In this family, everyone is keeping secrets—even the dead.

Brecken Hill in upstate New York is an expensive place to live. You have to be rich to have a house there, and Fred and Sheila Merton certainly are rich. But even all their money can’t protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mertons are brutally murdered after a fraught Easter dinner with their three adult kids. Who, of course, are devastated.

Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their vindictive father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of the siblings is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did someone snap after that dreadful evening? Or did another person appear later that night with the worst of intentions? That must be what happened. After all, if one of the family were capable of something as gruesome as this, you’d know.

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MY REVIEW:

I am no stranger to books by Shari Lapena and of course was thrilled to learn about her latest novel.

Addictive, thrilling, edge-of-your-seat thrills as you flip through the pages of this novel. Families are supposed to be close to one another, and be there for one another no matter what…right? Wrong! The Merton family was not a close-knit family at all. The family consists of two daughters and a son, plus their parents. Their mother was distant and neglectful, their father was vindictive and mean. Of course the family didn’t grow up close to one another. Then you have three siblings, all who each have their own secrets and betrayals from one another. Throw in a combination of secrets, jealousies, betrayals, and lies and you have the perfect recipe for something to do so devastatingly wrong. And that’s exactly what happens of course, With a family such as this there are bound to be so much drama going on and I LOVED it!

Not everyone in the family is as they appear to be. They keep up appearances and pretend to be someone they are not, but behind closed doors in their own private world, when the mask comes off, not all is as it first appears to be. So when the Merton’s (mother and father) end up killed in their own home, who to suspect? Was it one of their children? Was it another disgruntled family member? Or was it someone else entirely?

All will be revealed as you flip along to these thrilling and chilling pages and uncover the secrets, lies and family dynamics of this one Merton family. A wonderful novel that I highly recommend that you read.

Well done Shari. I am looking forward to your next novel!

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MY RATING: 4/5 stars

Book Review: The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones @StMartinsPress @MinotaurBooks @realsandiejones #TheGuiltTrip #bookreview #bookreviewer #bookblog #bookblogger #booksof2021 #5starreads

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PUBLISHER: Minotaur Books, St. Martin’s Press

PUBLICATION DATE: August 3rd, 2021

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Thank you to Minotaur, St. Martin’s Press for the beautiful physical copy of this book and also an eARC of this book via NetGalley.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

Six friends.

Rachel and Noah have been friends since they met at university. While they once thought that they might be something more, now, twenty years later, they are each happily married to other people, Jack and Paige respectively. Jack’s brother Will is getting married, to the dazzling, impulsive Ali, and the group of six travel to Portugal for their destination weekend.

Three couples.

As they arrive at a gorgeous villa perched on a cliff-edge, overlooking towering waves that crash on the famous surfing beaches below at Nazaré, they try to settle into a weekend of fun. While Rachel is looking forward to getting to know her future sister-in-law Ali better, Ali can’t help but rub many of the group up the wrong way: Rachel’s best friend Paige thinks Ali is attention-seeking and childish, and while Jack is trying to support his brother Will’s choice of wife, he is also finding plenty to disagree with Noah about.

One fatal misunderstanding . . .

But when Rachel discovers something about Ali that she can hardly believe, everything changes. As the wedding weekend unfolds, the secrets each of them hold begin to spill, and friendships and marriages threaten to unravel. Soon, jumping to conclusions becomes the difference between life and death.

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MY REVIEW:

I am a huge fan of books by Sandie Jones, ever since I read her novel The Other Woman. She is one of my go-to authors and I was thrilled to hear of her latest novel The Guilt Trip. SO of course I had to get my hands on a copy of this newest release ASAP. And of course I was NOT disappointed!

This book is the recipe for a deliciously juicy, thrilling, gripping edge-of-your-seat thriller. Full of friendships, relationships, betrayals, lies, secrets, and a past that just cannot stay kept in the past, you will DEVOUR this book once you read the first page, until the very end!

Six friends, three couples. A trip that is supposed to be full of excitement, fun and making memories that will last a lifetime. What better than an exciting trip to bring six friends closer to one another, what could possibly go wrong, right? Apparently a lot can go wrong. Especially when you add into the mix all of the elements these couples and friends have among them. Something is bound to go wrong.

I loved the dynamics of this group. Two of them had a past together as really close friends, and they are now married to other people. Some of them have something to hide, and lie to one another, putting on a face to hide the truth. I enjoyed learning about the different dynamics among this group of friends. There is so much drama and I loved it!

A novel that I highly recommend that you get, like now!

Well done Sandie! I cannot give enough stars for this novel. I am excited to see what your next novel brings!

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MY RATING: 5/5 stars

Book Review: For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing @BerkleyPub @smariedowning #ForYourOwnGood #netgalley #5starreads #booksof2021 #bookreview #bookreviewer #bookblog #bookblogger #booksonthebookshelf

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PUBLISHER: Berkley

PUBLICATION DATE: July 20th, 2021

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada/Berkley for the beautiful hardcover finished copy of this book to read and review as well as the eARC of this book via NetGalley.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

Teddy Crutcher has won Teacher of the Year at the esteemed Belmont Academy, home to the best and brightest.

He says his wife couldn’t be more proud—though no one has seen her in a while.

Teddy really can’t be bothered with the death of a school parent that’s looking more and more like murder or the student digging a little too deep into Teddy’s personal life. His main focus is on pushing these kids to their full academic potential.

All he wants is for his colleagues—and the endlessly meddlesome parents—to stay out of his way.

It’s really too bad that sometimes excellence can come at such a high cost.

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MY REVIEW:

WOW! Addictive, deceptive, edge-of-your-seat thrills and craziness all rolled into one deliciously twisted novel. A great recipe for a great thriller!

Ok everyone, if you haven’t read this book yet you NEED TO ASAP!! You will definitely thank me later, once you read it of course!

Teddy was an interesting, intriguing character. He was definitely sinister and twisted and I LOVED IT!! His personality and character in the novel definitely made for a great read that readers will devour! Teddy took actions into his own hands, and did everyone else favours, whether they knew it or not, needed it or not, or even wanted it or not. I flew through the pages in this novel and didn’t want to stop until the very end. And then I wished there was more for me to read. 

I cannot say enough great words about this novel. It was awesome. It had me hooked. It was thrills and chills and everything in between!

I am no stranger to novels by Samantha Downing and this book did not disappoint. Well done Samantha on another fantastic novel! I’m looking forward to your next book! 

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MY RATING: 5/5 stars

Book Review: The Perfect Family by Robyn Harding @rhardingwriter @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA #ThePerfectFamily #robynharding #bookreview #bookreviewer #bookblog #bookblogger #booksonthebookshelf #booksof2021 #5starreads

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PUBLISHER: Gallery Books

PUBLICATION DATE: August 10th, 2021

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Happy Publication Day to The Perfect Family by Robyn Harding!

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for the eARC of this book via NetGalley.

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

Thomas and Viv Adler are the envy of their neighbors: attractive, successful, with well-mannered children and a beautifully restored home.

Until one morning, when they wake up to find their porch has been pelted with eggs. It’s a prank, Thomas insists; the work of a few out-of-control kids. But when a smoke bomb is tossed on their front lawn, and their car’s tires are punctured, the family begins to worry. Surveillance cameras show nothing but grainy images of shadowy figures in hoodies. And the police dismiss the attacks, insisting they’re just the work of bored teenagers. Unable to identify the perpetrators, the Adlers are helpless as the assaults escalate into violence, and worse. And each new violation brings with it a growing fear. Because everyone in the Adler family is keeping a secret—not just from the outside world, but from each other. And secrets can be very dangerous….

This twisty, addictively page-turning suspense novel about a perfect family’s perfect façade will keep you turning pages until its explosive ending. 

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MY REVIEW:

Addictive, full of deception, betrayals, secrets, and lies..lies..lies! This book has it all and I LOVED it!! I am a huge fan of Robyn Harding and once I heard about her latest novel THE PERFECT FAMILY I knew I had to get my hands on a copy ASAP so was thrilled when I received this via NetGalley.

The Adler family is trying to keep up with appearances, just like everyone else. When everything on the outside looking in seems perfect and just so, not all is always as it appears to be. The perfect looking family might not be quite so perfect after all. I love how this novel starts off with someone lurking in the shadows at night, approaching the house with bad intentions for sure. The following chapters then alter to 6 weeks prior to that night and is told from alternating POV’s. Some parts are told from Vivian’s (Viv’s) POV, the mother of the family. Some parts are told from Thomas’ POV, the father. Some parts are told from their daughter Tarryn’s POV and other’s told from their son’s Eli’s POV. I love a good book told from various POV’s as we get to hear the story from each side and from each character and see the world through their eyes. It adds to the character development, enriches the storyline and makes for a great book and I loved that about this novel. Each character in this story has their own share of secrets and lies they are with-holding from everyone around them. They all have something to hide, something to lose, and I loved reading about all of their secrets and half-truths. No one in the family is perfect, far from it, but they try and keep up the illusion that they are.

Vivian feels her husband growing distant from her, even though they have two children together, a beautiful home, and have been married for 22 years. She feels it in her gut that he is cheating on her. She has no proof, just this gut wrenching feeling inside. Her husband Thomas has a secret of his own – something happened on a guys trip he attended some time back and even his wife doesn’t know about it. Then there is their daughter Tarryn – she has a secret life that comes out at night, when other family members are sleeping. Finally we had their son Eli – he has a secret of his own that makes him sick to his stomach when he thinks about it… a secret that is so awful that he dropped out of College for and returned to live at home much to his parents’ disapproval and dislike..

When it is clear that someone or some people are targeting their home, and their home is attacked and vandalized, who is responsible and what are they trying to prove? When all family members are keeping their own secrets, are one of them the target and the reason why they are under attack? Are they all partly to blame? Why would they be targeted, especially when they are the “perfect” family?

I loved the family dynamics of the Adler family and reading about their individual deception and lies. Such a great recipe for a great book and I devoured this book.

Well done Robyn! I loved this book and definitely recommend you add this one to your TBR right now! You’ll love it! I’m looking forward to your next book Robyn!

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MY RATING: 5/5 stars

Book Review: Hostage by Clare Mackintosh @claremackint0sh @sbkslandmark @Sourcebooks #Hostage #HostageBook #booksof2021 #bookreview #bookreviewer #bookblog #bookblogger #booksonthebookshelf #5starreads

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PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Landmark

PUBLICATION DATE: June 22nd, 2021

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for the eARC of this title via NetGalley and also for sending me a physical ARC of this novel to read and share my review.

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ABOUT THE BOOK: 

You can save hundreds of lives. Or the one that matters most.

A claustrophobic thriller set over twenty hours on one airplane flight, with the heart-stopping tension of The Last Flight and the wrenching emotional intensity of Room, Hostage takes us on board the inaugural nonstop flight from London to Sydney.

Mina is trying to focus on her job as a flight attendant, not the problems of her five-year-old daughter back home, or the fissures in her marriage. But the plane has barely taken off when Mina receives a chilling note from an anonymous passenger, someone intent on ensuring the plane never reaches its destination. Someone who needs Mina’s assistance and who knows exactly how to make her comply.

It’s twenty hours to landing. A lot can happen in twenty hours.

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MY REVIEW:

I am a huge fan of books by Clare Mackintosh so of course as soon as I found out about her latest novel, Hostage, I just had to get my hands on a copy of this book!

I was hooked from the first page. Of course, after reading the synopsis for this novel you just know that it is the perfect recipe for an edge of your seat, thrilling and chilling read. And of course I was not disappointed. I enjoyed reading about Mina and her life – both as a flight attendant, as well as a mother and wife. Mina finds herself on a plane where everyone ends up being hostages. This novel sucks you in from the very first page and has you hooked until the very ending. You will find yourself flipping through the pages to see what will happen next and once you start reading you will not be able to put this book down.

I enjoyed reading about all the passengers on the plane, as some chapters were written from the POV of some of the passengers on the plane. It gives some back story to who some of the passengers are, why they are on the flight, some details about their personality as well as their life, and adds to the suspense of the novel. A well-written novel that I highly recommend. You will love this book!

Well done Clare. I look forward to seeing what you come out with next!

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MY RATING: 5/5 stars